University of Alaska PRESS

Book Detail

Book Cover

6 x 9, 736 pages, appendices, index

Format: cloth

Price: $30.00


Rock Poker to Pay Dirt

The History of Alaska's School of Mines and its Successors

by Noyes, Leslie M.

The spirit of family, of loyalty to the fraternity, was dominant among mining folk just as it was among bush pilots, cowboys, mule-skinners, bridge builders and steel workers. Their work set them apart. This was their recognition and reward, the wellspring of their pride in doing. From the preface by Dr. William R. Wood

Rock poker, a game created by a School of Mines professor in the 1920s to teach prospectors the rocks and minerals of their trade, also describes the high-risk, high-reward gamble played by countless men and women in Alaska's young economy. Central to the developing territory, then state, were the students pursuing a minerals degree at the University of Alaska and the university staff, faculty, and administrators who nurtured the students and the mineral industry alike. This book recounts more than fifty years of history and stories, all of them intriguing and important, some of them poignant, and some of them hilarious.

From gold rush to oil boom, Rock Poker, from the strategies of university presidents to the role of Alaska Natives, describes the history of Alaska's most important industry as no other publication has done. Leslie Noyes has worked throughout Alaska and as director of the Miner's Advocacy Council. She now works as a journalist and has published numerous articles on Alaska and natural resource issues. Earl Beistline is dean Emeritus of the University of Alaska School of Mines and has contributed to several books on Alaska. Ernest Wolff was the first associate director of the University of Alaska's Mineral Industry Research Laboratory and is author of two books.

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